Unless you have been living in a cave closed up by a large boulder, then you most likely have heard of IPv6 – you know, the replacement for the aging IPv4? There is nothing not to love about IPv6 as there are about as many available addresses in the 128 bit space as there are individual grains of sand on the earth. That is no small number whatsoever. Now that the IPv4 address space is exhausted and we are keeping it alive with horrible things like Carrier-Grade NAT, it is time to make the switch.
The inertia for adoption, I believe, is largely two things: money and fear of something technically new (at least to some people.) Windows Server 2008 and newer is configured to prefer using IPv6 over IPv4 so it becomes a drop-in replacement for most Windows networks. Windows 7, 8, and 10 come pre-configured to automatically grab an IPv6 address if one is available. Furthermore, with such a large addressing space, the subnetting requirements become vastly simplified. Okay, so the real inertia might actually be coming from the ISPs. They’re slow to push IPv6 because they lose a major revenue stream in leasing IPv4 addresses to customers.
As if the ease of adoption is not enough of a reason, let’s look at the fact that an IPv6 data packet is smaller and simpler which means less overhead for routers and switches to process. This translates to much lower network latency and more reliable voice and video. Finally no more buffering on your IPTV and reliable voice for your Voice over IP enabled phone. Imagine enterprises not needing expensive MPLS solutions to help ensure more reliable delivery. Instead, they could just use VPN tunnels and achieve virtually the same reliability.
My CCNA teacher did an example setup with us. He runs his own IT consulting business and has an office in India. His network is entirely on IPv6. He setup a VPN tunnel between the college’s lab IPv6 network with two Cisco 1941 routers and his IT office in India. He has an inexpensive, small business grade connection in India. We easily streamed 8K video from his server in India over an IPv6 tunnel and his staff in India were not impacted from it. To say that I was amazed is to understate it. No fancy internet connections here.